Submission in response to the National Dementia Action Plan

We started the year constructively, bringing together Aged Care Reform Now members with lived experience of dementia – either by having it themselves, or caring for someone living with the disease – to respond to the Department of Health’s consultation paper on the National Dementia Action Plan.

We started the paper in response to the following current vision statement from the Department of Health:

“Australians understand dementia – people living with dementia and their carers have the best quality of life possible and no one walks the dementia journey alone.”

We believe that it is difficult for all Australians to fully understand the many types of dementia unless they have personal experience. If people with dementia, their families and significant others have adequate support they will not be walking the journey alone. To reflect this, our proposed vision was:

“people living with dementia and their carers are supported to have the best life possible, free from discrimination and harm”

Our submission focused on enablement and offered suggestions around:

  • Tackling stigma and discrimination
    • Intergenerational programmes
    • Increased training
    • Demential wellness hubs
  • Minimising risk, delaying onset and progression through
    • Oral health
    • Primary Health Networks
    • Allied Health support
  • Improving dementia diagnosis and post diagnostic care and support
    • with multi-disciplinary teams
    • Covering variant diagnosis under Medicare
    • Culturally appropriate assessments
    • Mandated allied health
  • Improved treatment, co-ordination and support along the dementia journey
    • Equality in service delivery with national framework focusing on individual needs
    • Specialised processes for people with Dementia in the hospital system
    • Advanced Care Planning
    • Harmonised mediation and supported decision-making legislation
    • Smaller alternate models of accommodation
    • Best practice models of integrated care
  • Supporting people caring for those living with dementia
    • Increasing respite availability
    • Improvements to support for Carers
  • Building dementia capability in the workforce
    • Increased minimum standard of training
    • Supporting physical issues relating to dementia
  • Improving dementia data and maximising the impact of dementia research and innovation
    • Increased funding and expanded scope of the Australia Dementia Network

    We concluded by saying that ACRN would like to see dementia care become integrated and harmonised nationally. We envisage Dementia Wellness Hubs run through the Primary Health Network where the individual can receive treatment and support in their community from a well-trained multi-disciplinary team. We believe this will facilitate early diagnosis, improve initial support for the person and their carers/family, promote enablement, and provide ongoing support including advocacy. We hope this will lead to people living with and alongside dementia, thriving in compassionate inclusive communities free of stigma and discrimination.

    The full paper is available for you to download and read on our submissions page.

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